The Informatics Lab team

The Met Office Informatics Lab combines the skill of scientists, software engineers and designers to create new things.

Kirstine Dale

Principal Fellow for Data Science, Co-Director for the Joint Centre for Excellence in Environmental Intelligence

Kirstine Dale

Kirstine has a strong, multidisciplinary background across natural and social sciences. She has considerable experience in training and research management.

Kirstine leads our strategy in areas such as:

  • research and development
  • infrastructure development
  • capability building
  • research applications.

Theo McCaie

Head of Met Office Informatics Lab, Technical Lead for Data Science

Theo McCaie

Theo brings his passion for innovation and multidisciplinary working to the team.

He has a background in:

  • physics
  • climate science
  • software
  • web development
  • data engineering.

Theo is always looking to discover new skill combinations to bring insight and innovations to projects.

Aaron Hopkinson

Infrastructure and Data Engineering Research Manager

Aaron Hopkinson

Aaron focuses on creating solutions which reduce the barriers to working with big data, particularly with the aim of facilitating the development of innovative machine learning systems.

He has a background in:

  • computational physics
  • data science.

Aaron is particularly interested in understanding how physics and machine learning can be more closely integrated.

Sam Adams

Data Science Research Manager

Sam Adams

Sam has over 25 years of experience as a scientific software engineer. In addition, she has a PhD and post-doctoral research experience in biologically-inspired computing, encompassing Machine Learning and AI.

She has a background in:

  • data science and machine learning
  • scientific software engineering
  • robotics and computational neuroscience.

Sam’s research interests include: Machine Learning applied to Weather and Climate applications, Bayesian Machine Learning and Unsupervised Machine Learning.

Emilie Vanvyve

Research, Development and Applications Manager

Emilie Vanvyve

Emilie is a physicist by training with a PhD in climate science and has several years of experience working in applied weather/climate research within customer-focussed organisations in private and

public sectors.

She has a background in:

  • climate modelling
  • applied climate and weather research
  • environmental issues (across sectors such as air quality, reinsurance, transport, energy, environment, defence).

Emilie is motivated by transforming research concepts into services that directly benefit the public.

Stephen Haddad

Scientific Software Engineer

Stephen Haddad

Stephen’s main research areas are around data engineering and machine learning applications.

He has a background in:

  • data science
  • software development
  • climate research.

Stephen is excited about the potential for efficient, intuitive software and data tools to accelerate research into the big scientific and social challenges of our time such as climate change. 

Kevin Donkers

Scientific Software Engineer

Kevin Donkers

Kevin is also a PhD student with the Environmental Intelligence CDT at the University of Exeter.

He has a background in:

  • physics and chemistry
  • software development
  • data science.

Kevin’s research interests include democratising data, using data to make decisions and resilient food systems.

Rachel Prudden

Senior Scientist

Rachel Prudden

Rachel is working on ways to combine physics-based numerical simulation with machine learning.

Active projects include:

  • emulation of gravity wave parameterisations with ML models
  • applications of causal inference to climate indices
  • using spatial statistical models to understand convective-scale variability
  • new methods for spatial verification.

Rachel is undertaking a PhD at the University of Exeter, with a focus on using Gaussian random fields for stochastic super-resolution of convective-scale fields.

Christine Sheldon

Senior Project Manager

Christine Sheldon

Christine works for the Joint Centre for Excellence in Environmental Intelligence; overseeing the development and delivery of the Joint Centre in partnership with the University of Exeter.

She has the following qualifications:

  • MSP Practitioner
  • PRINCE2 Practitioner
  • APM Project Management.

Christine brings many years of programme and project management experience to the team.

Peter Killick

IT Analyst

Peter Killick

Peter is a Data Engineer and Cloud Platform Architect within the Informatics Lab and a member of the Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab, supporting Devon-based Small to Medium Enterprises by providing solutions to Big Data challenges that they face.

He has a background in:

  • data science and data engineering
  • scientific software development
  • technical authoring
  • python training
  • physics.

Peter’s main area of research in the Informatics Lab is on producing platforms for intuitive data exploration. The aim of this research is to develop solutions to storing and accessing weather and climate data stored in the Cloud, and producing platforms that provide intuitive access to explore and analyse this data.

Ferhan Dack

Administrator

Ferhan Dack

Ferhan joined the Informatics Lab in 2020.

She has a background in:

  • tourism management and business administration
  • training and conference planning.

Ferhan has a Masters degree in Human Resources, and she takes care of the administrative and organisational tasks that help the team function.

Anna Louise Ellis

Senior Scientific Software Engineer

Anna Louise Ellis

Anna has 20+ years r&d software engineering experience, ranging from meteorological research software development and project lead for a global leader in software industry through to machine learning and AI programme creation, validation and lead in academia.

She has a background in:

  • computational vision/visual neuroscience/machine learning
  • software engineering
  • real-time video telecommunications.

Anna’s postdoctoral research experience and interests are in pattern recognition, machine learning and bio-inspired computing, with a dollop of explainability and ethics.

Maria Athanassiadou

Senior Research Scientist

Maria Athanassiadou

Maria has many years of experience on leading, innovating and delivering on research projects that cut across many meteorological disciplines from small scales to climate and include observations, data analysis and modelling.

She has a background in:

  • mathematics and meteorology.

Areas of expertise include:

  • gravity waves and complex flows around orography
  • wind tunnel measurements
  • atmospheric and dispersion modelling
  • air quality
  • large scale dynamics
  • satellites for environmental applications.

Maria is the Innovation Manager of the Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab; an EU-funded consortium that offers free support to Devon SMEs through collaboration, innovation and prototype development.

Sam Madge

Data Engineering

Sam Madge

Sam is interested in using Augmented Reality technology to expand the understandability of data.

He has a background in:

  • physics.

Sam joined the team straight out of his physics degree where he helped proof of concept a system for attaining atmospheric data from contrail formation.